Directional & Quick Exhaust Pinch Valves

A specialist manufacturer, and one of the largest independent aluminium casting companies in the UK that is still family owned, is using the following AKO Pinch Valves in their foundry:

VMC25-03XK-50G-30LX – 1″ alu bodied pinch valve with stainless steel threaded sockets

VF080-03X-31-30LA – 3″ alu bodied pinch valve with alu/mild steel flanges

VF100-03X-31-30LA – 4″ alu bodied pinch valve with alu/mild steel flanges

In the foundry, raw or fully machined aluminium sand castings are manufactured. The sand is used to make the moulds, that molten aluminium is then poured into, to form the shape of a casting.

quick exhaust valve
VMC Pinch Valve quick exhaust
How the Pinch Valves are used

The 1″ pinch valve with stainless steel threaded ends is used as a quick exhaust valve on one of the company’s pneumatic conveying vessels.

The larger 3″ & 4″ pinch valves are used as directional valves, either opening or closing, depending on which way the engineers would like to convey sand around the foundry. These valves are used to block off the leg of the line which they do not want to send sand down, at which point the other valve is then opened.

During conveying, the valves are either open or closed depending on which branch the sand is being conveyed down.  The foundry open one of the valves to allow sand to travel along a specific pipe, and close the other valve to stop sand going down the other line.

directional valves for sand foundry
Experience of Pinch Valves

Approximately 300 cycles per day are carried out. This could mean that a valve is open all day, or pressurised closed all day, or both, depending on transportation or delivery requirements to the hoppers.

This casting company have been using pinch valves for over 20 years. Over time, the rubber liners wear out. The liners are ordered as spares and kept on the shelf, and are fitted by the engineers in their workshop.

The manufacturing manager on site said:

“We use other valves here such as ball valves, butterfly valves, and knife gate valves, depending on the specific application. But the AKO Pinch Valves seem to last longer. We would prefer to use the AKO Pinch Valve where we have knife gate valves installed on some fo the conveying lines, but they are a little awkward to retrofit the lines, so we tolerate the alternative.”

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